When Emily Appleby graduated in July
2009 with a PGCE in Primary Education, she had her career all
planned out - get a job teaching in a nearby village school, buy a
nice little place and settle down to a cosy life. What she never
imagined was that by January 2010 she would be half way around the
world, living a life that couldn’t be more different.
“The months following my graduation were very hard.
Jobs were scarce and teachers were competing against 100s of others
for a single teaching post. I spent endless days completing
application forms, writing letters of application and attending
interviews. By my sixth or seventh interview, I was becoming tired
of hearing that I had been close to being offered the position, if
only I had a little more experience.
“Having gone straight from college to
University, then straight from University to my PGCE, I hadn’t had
the extra teaching and life experience that many other candidates
had. This prompted me to start searching for teaching opportunities
outside of the leafy suburbs!
“As I looked further afield, I realised that
compared to jobs in England, international jobs were available in
abundance. I came across a job teaching English in Singapore, which
really interested me and so I applied.
“The ‘right experience’ was once again a key
factor, but as they say, “you have to be in it to win it” and so I
spent many hours reviewing my CV and letter of application and sent
them off. To my great surprise, I had a phone call the next day
inviting me for an interview in London. Two months later I had been
interviewed, offered a post, and had booked my one way ticket! From
the moment I accepted the position, I knew that I had said “yes” to
a great opportunity.
“I have been working in Singapore for a year
now and I have grown so much as a teacher. I have had the
opportunity to work with the most privileged children and also with
the most under-privileged, each being challenging and rewarding in
“Living in Singapore is an amazing experience
and I’ve also had the chance to do my own travelling. So far I have
visited Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam and I still have at least
one more year in which I hope to visit Japan and China.
Seeing the native tribes of Borneo and the
crystal clear waters surrounding the remote islands in the South
China Sea, make you realise that there is so much you don’t know
about the world and I really can’t wait to find out more!
“It is my plan to return to England after my
second year in Singapore. I have now got so much more to say and
give and I am going to use the experiences I have gained abroad to
get me that teaching job I kept missing out on in the beginning. It
just goes to show that the opportunities are always out there – I
took mine and I now look forward to a long and fulfilling career in
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